Tour de France 2019: Stage 11
January 1 - July 28, Albi, France, Road - WorldTour
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 11 of the Tour de France. Today's stage should be one for the sprinters, a lumpy 167-kilometre run from Albi to Toulouse.
Stage 10: Wout Van Aert takes victory as crosswinds wreak havoc
Gianni Savio: Egan Bernal can win the Tour de France
Quintana set for three-year deal with Arkéa-Samsic
Katusha owner Makarov could partially self-fund team in 2020
Philippa York analysis: Team Ineos solidify Tour de France position
After the first rest day of the Tour, the action gets going again this afternoon. We're 30 minutes away from the start of the stage.
Wout Van Aert won the uphill sprint on stage 10 in Albi, beating Elia Viviani and Caleb Ewan to the line. It's slightly downhill at the finish today, so expect the finish to be contested by the same men again, though Jumbo-Visma should favour their pure sprinter Dylan Groenewegen.
There are only two climbs on the route today, the third-category Côte de Tonnac and the fourth-category Côte de Castelnau-de-Montmiral. They're both in the first half of the stage though, so despite the lumpy profile there's not a ton of reward for any breakway riders.
Julian Alaphilippe is still in yellow of course, with his Deceuninck-QuickStep team among the squads driving the race in the final stages of the crosswind-hit stage 10. How long can he keep it? "Everything is possible," he said.
Alaphilippe: I hope to surprise myself in the rest of the Tour de France
We're ten minutes away from the neutralised start now.
Catch up with Philippa York's rest day analysis here. She talks about the GC battle, Julian Alaphilippe's chances, and Team Ineos taking control of the race.
Philippa York analysis: Ineos solidify Tour de France position as rivals toil
Team Sunweb sprinter Michael Matthews said he enjoyed the rest day, with some good coffee and a team barbecue later on. Along with media responsibilities and a ride, of course.
"We went for it, didn't get it, and today's another day," he says of stage 10. "We sprint for Cees [Bol] today."
The riders roll out to start the neutralised zone.
As Eurosport commentator Rob Hatch notes, today the riders are racing from the 'red city' of Albi to the 'pink city' of Toulouse. The nicknames refer to the colour of the bricks that make up the majority of the buildings in each city.
Just one non-starter today. Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin) abandons the race.
167km remaining from 167km
And we're off! A handful of riders are away right from the start.
Two from Cofidis, one from Wanty and one from Total.
The two men from Cofidis are Stephane Rossetto and Anthony Perez. Aime De Gendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) is also out front, as is Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie), a local from Albi.
The break is established. The riders at the head of the peloton block the road, and their gap is growing.
161km remaining from 167km
Almost two minutes for the break already.
It's a hot and sunny day in the south of France. 30°C as the riders head south-west to Toulouse.
Jumbo-Visma have won four stage so far at the Tour de France, including three sprint victories with three different riders. That hasn't stopped them being interested in Marcel Kittel, though. Team manager Richard Plugge confirmed that interest on the Tour rest day.
Jumbo-Visma manager admits interest in signing Kittel at Tour de France
156km remaining from 167km
The gap to the break seems stable at two minutes for now.
Today is Rossetto's fourth breakaway in ten road stages so far.
The gap is up to 2:25 now.
It has been a calm start to the stage. Jumbo-Visma are up front along with Lotto Soudal and Deceuninck-QuickStep.
Photographers crouch in the sunflower fields to get that classic Tour de France shot of the peloton.
Here's a shot of the peloton leaving Albi earlier.
Rossetto has a mechanical problem and heads back to the team car for a check.
The break cross the first climb of the day, the Côte de Tonnac.
Perez and De Gendt lead the way over the top.
The break have a three-minute advantage over the top.
130km remaining from 167km
130km to go and the break are working well together. There's 40km to the next climb.
Juan Antonio Flecha is reporting from the back of the motorbike for Eurosport today. He says that the wind could become an issue wheen the riders emerge from the forest they're currently in.
124km remaining from 167km
The first hour has seen the break cover 37 kilometres. They're not exactly flying along so far.
It's still QuickStep, Jumbo and Lotto on the front of the peloton.
Total DS Dominique Arnould is interviewed live from the team car. He talked about Calmejane getting in the break today.
"He’s been passive since the start of the Tour. The day before yesterday, he tried to break away because the race was arriving in his hometown but it was today that we knew the breakaway would go from the gun. It’s good for his confidence to be up there."
112km remaining from 167km
2:25 for the break. They're being kept on a tight leash.
Total Direct Energie are the only team to not achieve any top 10 placings so far during the Tour.
Cofidis have had Nicolas Edet and sprinter Christophe Laporte abandon the Tour so far. The team has been struck by illness, even having to stay in separate rooms to avoid spreading it further. But with two men in the break today, it looks like they're back to their best.
The break rides into the final 100km. They're 2:15 up on the peloton.
The big news of the day is Nairo Quintana, who is on the move next season. The Colombian, who leads Movistar at this Tour, has agreed a three-year contract with Arkéa-Samsic. His brother Dayer is also making the move, along with Winner Anacona and Diego Rosa.
Quintana set for three-year deal at Arkea-Samsic
The break are closing on the second and final climb of the day, the fourth-category Côte de Castelnau-de-Montmiral.
Race leader Julian Alaphilippe is up at the front of the peloton, along with a number of AG2R La Mondiale men.
The peloton have lost a minute to the break on the climb. They're 3:15 down now.
79km remaining from 167km
Perez took the KOM point over the top and also take the intermediate sprint ahead of De Gendt.
Now we wait for the peloton to cross the line and take the remaining green jersey points.
Viviani led the peloton over, outsprinting Sagan and Colbrelli.
2:38 between break and peloton now.
It's still Lotto, Jumbo and QuickStep up front.
70km remaining from 167km
The break hit 70km to go and the flags on the side of the road show a crosswind, from west to east. If that holds up, the final 35km will be into a headwind.
Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) didn't take any points at the intermediate sprint. Sagan took 10, Viviani 11, and Colbrelli 9.
Matthews still lies second in the points classification. He has 167 points to Sagan's 239. Viviani is on 164 points.
60km remaining from 167km
62km to go now and the gap dips under two minutes.
Tony Martin and Kasper Asgreen lead the peloton.
Jumbo-Visma's George Bennett tumbled down the general classification in the crosswinds on stage 10. He was back getting bottles when the split happened.
"It was a strange situation, there was a bit of confusion," he said. "Basically, what happened was I got a bottle from the side of the road. We had four guys giving bottles and I got one so I had a spare bottle, so I said over the radio, 'who needs a bottle?"
George Bennett frustrated as 'accumulation of errors' shoves him down Tour de France standings
50km remaining from 167km
Inside the final 50km now and the gap is steadily coming down. The peloton are 1:10 down on the break.
The riders head south for another 12km before turning west towards Toulouse.
Caleb Ewan speaks to Eurosport about sprinting after a rest day and the downhill finish in Toulouse.
"I haven't had too many races where I've had a rest day and had to get back up the next day (to sprint) so I haven't mastered it yet.
It's going to be a super-quick finish. I've got my 54-tooth chainring on, so hopefully that will help me."
There's very little going on right now, so here's a gallery of Peter Sagan riding Specialized's new Creo e-bike during yesterday's rest day. Enjoy!
Tour de France: Peter Sagan rides new Specialized e-bike on rest day – Gallery
Here's a shot of the break passing by the sunflower fields earlier on. Fun!
36km remaining from 167km
Shockingly, Jumbo, Lotto and QuickStep are still leading the peloton.
2008 was the last time a Tour stage finished in Toulouse, Mark Cavendish took the win ahead of Gerald Ciolek and Jimmy Casper. Read the stage report here, if you like.
Flags by the side of the road are flapping pretty hard as the peloton pass by. Maybe some more crosswind action in this final? Please...
31km remaining from 167km
And there's a crash in the peloton! A Total rider is down and looks in a bad way.
Tiesj Benoot, Alberto Bettiol. Giulio Ciccone are among the others involved.
Nairo Quintana was held up too, and is chasing back on at full speed.
The Total rider is Terpstra. He's moving and sitting up but holding his collarbone.
Movistar have sent Amador back for Quintana. Trek have a number of riders chasing too, as Richie Porte has also been caught out.
The group of around 15 riders are 30 seconds down on the peloton.
Terpstra is still sat on the road holding his right collarbone, meanwhile.
The Quintana group has caught another group help up by the crash. There looks to be around 30 riders there now.
There's a minute between the break and the peloton now.
Niki Terpstra abandons the Tour de France.
25km remaining from 167km
The chasing group is back with the peloton now.
Giacomo Nizzolo was riding along with torn shorts and jersey just now, so he won't be up there in the sprint today.
Ciccone is almost four minutes down on the peloton.
18km remaining from 167km
45 seconds for the break now.
It's almost time for La Course by Le Tour de France, the one-day race for the women's peloton. The race will be held in Pau in two day's time. Read our full preview here.
La Course by Le Tour de France 2019 - Preview
The peloton is speeding up now.
14km remaining from 167km
The front of the peloton is morphing into a grouping of clearly-defined trains now, rather than the mix of workhorses from different teams it's been all day.
Deceuninck-QuickStep, Jumbo-Visma, Lotto Soudal and Team Sunweb are getting organised.
The break are 20 seconds up the road. Not long for them now.
Tony Martin almost comes to a stop on the side of the road. That's his work for the day done.
Katusha-Alpecin have moved up, as have Astana.
De Gendt tries to get away from his breakmates. Perez is dropped. Just three remain out front now.
10km remaining from 167km
And now De Gendt leaves Rossetto and Calmejane behind.
That's the combativity award for Aime De Gendt then.
Jasper De Buyst crashes on the side of the peloton, falling into a ditch. He held up Caleb Ewan, who will have to work his way back to the front of the peloton now.
A CCC rider got squeezed there, putting his elbow out to balance himself, which nudged De Buyst onto the grass verge. Just an accident.
7km remaining from 167km
QuickStep, Bora, Jumbo are leading the peloton. Can De Gendt emulate his namesake Thomas and hold off his chasers? Probably not...
Rossetto and Calmejane are brought back. De Gendt is around 30 seconds up the road with 7km to go.
The peloton is really strung out at the front.
5km remaining from 167km
23 seconds for De Gendt with 5km to race.
4km remaining from 167km
And it's over for De Gendt.
Jumbo are taking charge here. They have four men on the front.
Four men ahead of Groenewegen, of course.
Sunweb and UAE are moving up too. QuickStep are up there, and Sagan is surfing wheels.
3km remaining from 167km
Lotto have a few guys up there too, for Ewan.
2km remaining from 167km
Alex Dowsett moves to the front for Katusha.
He flicks off and Oss takes it up for Bora.
1km remaining from 167km
Van Aert is next on the front.
Morkov moves up with the QuickStep train – Richeze and Viviani.
1km remaining from 167km
It's a super-high pace as they hit the final kilometre. Downhill from here.
Dimension Data move up too.
Groenewegen launches with 250 metres to go!
Ewan comes off his wheel!
Viviani and Sagan were up there but couldn't get to the front.
It looks like Ewan just took that!
Ewan just edged it by centimetres. It's his first Tour de France stage victory!
Viviani took third, Sagan fourth.
Ewan has had some bad luck during this Tour, getting squeezed on stage 1, receiving a poor leadout on stage 4 and then launching his sprint just a touch too late on stage 7. It always looked like he would get a win though.
Ewan now has wins at every Grand Tour – one here, one at the Vuelta, and three at the Giro.
Here's the top ten on the stage
1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
2 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
3 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
6 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
8 Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb
9 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
A minor note, but that's a brutal result for Arkéa-Samsic's sprinter André Greipel. Their climber Warren Barguil's tenth place in today's sprint is better than the veteran German has managed all Tour.
Our team of reporters on the ground are rushing around the team buses in Toulouse, grabbing quotes from Richie Porte, Elia Viviani, Nairo Quintana and more. Look out for stories from the stage later on.
Lotto Soudal's Thomas De Gendt had this to say about his stage win in Saint-Étienne.
"Last year we didn't really compete in the sprints, but now we are really close with Caleb three times. The atmosphere is still good because we are here with eight guys with good legs.
"We were trying to find ways to win and trying to find ways to make it better in the sprints, but we always have confidence in Caleb. I'm sure that he will win a stage and the atmosphere will stay good in the team."
It didn't take long for the Belgian to be proven right. That's two stages for Lotto now, along with the KOM jersey since stage 3. A great Tour so far.
Here's what Ewan had to say after his win.
"There's no other race I've dreamt of winning since I was a young kid. I can't believe it. The Tour de France is something so distant from Australia, something we only watched on TV. I can't believe I'm even here, and to win a stage is a real dream come true for me."
Here's a shot of Ewan just pipping Groenewegen to the line in Toulouse.
Here's our stage report, along with results and a photo gallery. The full report will be up shortly.
Tour de France: Ewan wins stage 11
Michael Matthews has laid down arms in the battle for the green jersey at the Tour de France, taking on the role of lead-out man as Team Sunweb backed Cees Bol in the stage 11 bunch sprint on Wednesday.
Geraint Thomas is looking forward to getting his teeth into the first series of high mountain stages and the time trial in this year's Tour de France, but the Team Ineos leader says he does not expect too much race action amongst the GC favourites on Thursday's opening day in the Pyrenees.
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) took his first Tour de France stage win in Toulouse on Wednesday, managing to time his bike throw to perfection to edge past Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) in a photo finish. Ewan's teammate Roger Kluge was visibly beaming outside the team bus, but instead of playing his usual lead-out role in dropping Ewan off with a few hundred metres to go, Kluge instead left Ewan on Groenwegen's wheel with two kilometres still to race.
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